For many hardcore baseball fans, Super Bowl Sunday signifies the end of the football season and the beginning of the home stretch toward baseball.
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While some of us will watch with passing interest (because I mean it is Super Bowl Sunday and you kinda have to watch, no?) in the back of our minds we know it is just 18 days until pitchers and catchers for the Detroit Tigers report to Lakeland and begin the marathon that is the glorious baseball season.
So to peak your interest and get you through the day devoted to football, here are some links to chew on.
First we look at how Victor Martinez may see time behind the plate early in the season with an early interleague meeting with the Pittsburgh Pirates the second week of the season (including Pittsburgh’s home opener). The Tigers faced a similar situation last year when hitting LA and San Diego in the second week of 2014.
V-Mart didn’t play particularly well behind the plate, showing a lot of rust so while you want his bat to stay in the lineup it will be a trade off for a decline in defense for a couple games.
Brad Faber makes a case for Joba Chamberlain returning. The veteran finds himself still unsigned in the weeks leading up to Spring Training. I am not sure this is a great idea, however. Joba will always be remembered in Detroit for blowing the Tigers’ shot to get back into last year’s ALDS with his Game 2 meltdown.
And, after a very rough second-half for Joba, it appears the Tigers’ brass has moved on as well.
Martinez could catch for Tigers early in season – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
"Victor Martinez won’t catch much this season.But if first baseman Miguel Cabrera is ready to go, the Detroit Tigers’ designated hitter could get some time behind the plate in the second week of the season.The Tigers play their annual interleague rivalry with the Pirates on April 13-15 in Pittsburgh, meaning that National League rules will eliminate the designated hitter.“If Miggy’s available, then Victor would be an option at catcher,” manager Brad Ausmus said this week.If he’s not, then Martinez would be the first baseman."
Detroit Tigers Should Consider A Reunion With Joba Chamberlain – Brad Faber Rant Sports
"Obviously, heading into the 2015 campaign, the bullpen remains a bit of a concern for the Tigers. Last season, of course, Tigers relievers posted a 4.29 ERA, which ranked fourth-worst in MLB, and there are still a few uncertainties going forward.Yes, in all likelihood, Joakim Soria will pitch better than he did for the Tigers last season, and newcomer Alex Wilson may turn out to be a pleasant surprise as well. However, it remains a serious question as to whether or not the now 40-year-old Joe Nathan can rediscover the dominant form he displayed earlier on in his career with the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers.Many Tigers fans also hope that Bruce Rondon and Joel Hanrahan will be able to make triumphant returns, but that is far from a sure thing. Newly-signed Tom Gorzelanny pitched only 21 innings in 2014, and while Blaine Hardy was impressive when he first came up, he stumbled to the finish line, posting a 5.40 ERA in September. Ian Krol had a rough 2014 as well."